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February 2, 2016


Shortage of Wild Juveniles for Stocking Lobster Farms


Every year farmers in the central province of Khanh Hoa Khanh Hoa grow lobsters in more than 23,300 cages, accounting for more than 40 percent of the country’s total production, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.  This year, however, fishermen have not been able to capture enough of the juvenile lobsters that are used to stock the cages.  Calm seas during the current lobster catching season have been blamed for the poor catches.  The season, from November to March, usually sees rough seas, causing juveniles to appear in large quantities.  There are no lobster hatcheries in Vietnam.


Tran Van Hung of Ninh Ho Town said he had been fishing for juvenile lobsters for 12 years and this year has been the least productive.  “I have been able to catch a maximum of two lobsters a day since the beginning of the season.  There have been many days when I caught none.  Last year there were days I could catch up to 30.”


The scarcity this year has also caused prices to increase, with traders now paying  $15.70 for each juvenile, $4.49 higher than a year ago.


Pham Thi Lo, a trader in Ninh Ho, said, “I have been able to buy only 30 young lobsters so far...this season.”


Phan Hung, who has been farming lobsters for many years in Van Ninh District’s Van Thanh Commune, said, “The price of juvenile lobsters is so high that I and many other lobster farming households here do not dare to invest much in lobster farming.”  He only bought 500 juveniles this year.  With the supply of local lobsters meeting only 30 to 40 percent of the demand, farmers have to buy juvenile lobsters from other provinces and countries.


Source: Vietnam News.  Calm Seas Damage Khanh Hoa Juvenile Lobster Catch.  January 30, 2016.

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